Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Tough times trying to make it in Northern Michigan

Bethel Galarno - August 16th, 2010
Tough times trying to make it in Northern Michigan
By Bethel Galarno
I’m a hard-working Northern Michigan woman. My husband Steven and I
have dreamed of owning a restaurant for many years. Recently, he has
worked for three factories in the Kalkaska area that each closed their
doors due to the slowing economy. I have two children. My son
graduated from Northwestern Michigan College this spring, is working
full time and is a member of the National Guard. My daughter is a
postal worker and a mother of three perfect children. We all love our
state!
Do you believe in our beautiful state? Do you have faith that we can
rebuild this special place? Well, I do...
and this is part of my story of my struggles in opening a small
business in a small Northern Michigan town.
In March of 2009, there was an ad in the paper for starting a
restaurant for $20,000. I knew the cost would end up being a little
more than that after everything is said and done. It turned out to be
MUCH more than that! The building we invested in was just wooden
studs with a cement floor. We signed papers and went to work. Day
after day, for over a year, we’ve put in 12-15 hour days to complete
our dream. We cut 130 feet of our cement floor; dug trenches to put in
the plumbing; we had to do all the electrical work and put in new
ceilings.
The restaurant is 16 feet wide and 127 feet long, has two 6’x8’
bathrooms. The kitchen is full of all the required equipment and has
passed all inspections. We still need to set all our fixtures and
faucets, and get our final license and inspections. Our first order to
fill our inventory is ready to be delivered. Serve-Safe classes have
been paid for and completed. Our insurance is lined up, the phone
service is already hooked up, the drywall is put up, has been sanded,
painted and is ready and waiting! Yet my booths sit collecting dust
while I struggle to make ends meet diligently seeking the last $7,000
standing in the way of us opening our doors.
Knowing we would need an additional $7,000 for completion, I contacted
a Northern Michigan company that offers small loans for small
businesses. They came to look at the restaurant, said they loved it
and thought it could be quite prosperous, and said they saw no problem
helping us with the loan. We filled out paper work and thought the
deal was done. Three months later, when it came time to use the money
that company mistakenly thought Fife Lake is part of Kalkaska County
and I was informed that they do not work with businesses in Grand
Traverse County because supposedly Grand Traverse County is too rich
to warrant their assistance.
And that is where the hunt began. I have been to 40 banks, six
different branches of the Small Business Association, as well as Rural
Development and various credit unions. They all tell me the same line:
I don’t have two years of invoices, and “Oh, you don’t serve liquor?
We’re sorry... our regulators won’t allow us to help.”
Most recently, I contacted a state representative. He genuinely
sounded shocked that the SBA, Rural Development, banks, etc would not
help me. He said to give him a day or two and he’d get back to me
with some type of answer. Well, two weeks have gone by and no phone
call. Do our representatives even believe in the rebirth of our
state, I wonder?
The restaurant is at 98% completion. We have invested $92,000 into
this project of ours by selling everything we’ve ever owned, including
my jewelry. I have 12 people waiting to be employed, including myself.
I’ve been seeking only $7,000 to complete and open my doors.
I hear that it’s such a small loan, such a prosperous business idea,
some say, “Call me when you open! It sounds great... we’ll order some
food!” The restaurant is located in beautiful Fife Lake, a very
quaint and busy village. We’re reaching out to families where kids
can come have fun and parents can relax. Delivery is not available in
the Fife Lake area. There are 10,000 people in a 10-mile range, all of
whom will now have a place to go and a place that delivers.
I own a 10-acre parcel (with a clear deed). I have always offered to
use this as collateral. The parcel was appraised at $38,900 in
November, 2009. I need $7,000 to put 12 currently unemployed people
back to work, paying taxes, paying their bills, helping to rebuild our
gorgeous state, but instead, they are waiting, like I am, and living
on unemployment or on state aid. None of this is helping our state’s
goal of prospering.
I’m not seeking a handout. Instead, I’m looking for a hand UP. If
anyone out there has an idea before all is lost, please contact me at
231-384-0827 anytime and thank you for your time.

 
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